They've pitched several times recently. Duke is the LOOGY, and Cecil handles middle innings.
Aware. Absolutely. Agents and free agents and players talk. When a player is considering the Cardinals he's going to talk to Fowler, to Lynn, to Heyward, to Holliday, to any of a number of players -- whoever he trusts. And in some cases, keep in mind, they are all repped by the same agent. Heyward and Fowler are repped by the same group. Lynn, too. So, yeah, it matters. And should rightly be considere.d
Those conversations will take place, and he'll have to be involved at some point.
It's their job to try and help when a player goes to them for help.
Since his Instagram post about "tired" -- a photo, by the way, that has since been deleted -- Molina has indeed been on a tear. That happened on July 28, and since he's hit .292/.336/.518 in 38 games. He's got 16 extra-base hits, seven homers, and more RBIs (28) than strikeouts (21) in that stretch.
Entirely possible. As mentioned multiple times in the chat here, he could return as a reliever, and then see what he makes of it come October.
That is exactly what happens, yes.
Backup catcher, yep. Unless they're gobsmacked by a deal that includes him and they turn to someone else, they're plan is to have Carson Kelly backup Molina in 2018. Kelly is still young enough that this is no big speed bump in his career, and he's good enough that when he takes over at catcher the Caridnals' run of Gold Glove winners will continue at that position.
Nothing. What's the harm in having someone as good or better?
He was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals. That's how we reported it in the PD. That's how it happened. I know it gets confusing, so let's go through the timeline of events and hope it clears it up:
SOMETIME IN AUGUST
Pirates place Nicasio on revocable waivers with the intent of getting him through to trade him. These waivers go through the league first in reverse order of standings, and then through the American League. So, the Cubs or Cardinals had a crack at Nicasio before an AL team with a worse record did.
A rival team puts a claim on Nicasio. That team was NOT the Cardinals. The Pirates pull Nicasio off waivers because they think the other team is just trying to block a trade. (That appears true.)
Pirates place Nicasio on irrevocable waivers with the idea of moving him to an American League team because the NL team that claimed will now come after AL teams with worse records. But the Phillies outsmart the Pirates and put a claim on him, getting Nicasio's rights. It is my understanding that the Cardinals did put in a claim on Nicasio at this time -- but had no shot because the Phillies got first dibs.
Now few teams are really interested in adding a player for the stretch run that cannot pitch in the playoffs. So the market is smaller, but the Phillies can play to the urgency, and they know they have a taker out there because of the moves the Pirates made. The Phillies read the above series of transactions and just waited for a time when they could find a team to made a deal. So, they put Nicasio through waivers -- he had to clear to be traded -- and the Cardinals claimed him. The Phillies could pull him off waivers or work out a trade with the Cardinals.
They worked out a deal for an infielder prospect.
That's how Philly got the best of at least two NL Central teams.
Yep. Unless you're trying to write a counterintuitive think piece. Molina is on the HOF track.
They are always playing for leverage. Seeming disinterested is one way to do that.
Yes, absolutely. Those things. If No. 3 is the floor, the other two are ceiling.
I can suggest with some certainty that Tony La Russa would eagerly play a shortstop who can hit 20 home runs. No doubt.
Flaherty seems bullpen-bound for a look-see at some point. Not sure if he factors into any one-game playoff plans, though, if the Cardinals get that far. Weaver appears good to go for the remainder of the season, however long that is. He's Wacha 2013. Think of him that way.
I do have a lengthy list, and I've tried to give a snapshot of the group because it's scores deep, and some of the players on the list aren't going to be protected and aren't going to be taken, so I wanted to focus the conversation on the ones that are of note. Here's a more robust list with familiar names, some of whom have already been added to the 40-man roster, but it's not even half of the eligible players:
Sandy Alcantara, Chris Ellis, Austin Gomber, Anthony Garcia, Gabriel Lino, Corey Littrell, Nick Martini, Daniel Poncedeleon, Alberto Rosario, Jordan Schafer, Patrick Wisdom, Arturo Reyes, Ryan Sherriff, Wilfredo Tovar, Miguel Socolovich, Oscar Mercado, Tyler O'Neill, Matt Pearce, Dewin Perez.
For a Game 163, yes. That is a continuation of the season, and the stats from that game and the roster for that game are considered part of the regular season.
He should get a playoff share.
Sure, 2011. Jay, Craig, Lynn, Descalso, and company. And then there was 2013, when the Cardinals bullpen was loaded with young relievers like Martinez, Siegrist, and a kid name Rosenthal. Those are just recent obvious examples.